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Sirsa is the administrative headquarters of Sirsa district. It was also known as "Adi-Keshav Nagar" after one of its famous residents, Keshava Rai Chowdhary who built a palace here in 1857 AD which still stands today. The city has been ruled by Mahendra Pal Tomar (1015–1060), Prithviraj Chauhan (1175–1192), and Ala-ud-din Khilji (1296). The town had an important role to play in history during the time of Mughal emperor Akbar's rule when it became his military outpost against Rajputana and Punjab. In 1763, Maharaja Suraj Mal captured this fort from Afghan rebels under Najib Khan for whom it was a base for operations across the Sutlej River into British territory.